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From Ugly Duckling to Cool Fashion Icon: Sarah Jessica Parker's Blonde Ambitions

Sarah Jessica Parker is a cool Jew, or so we argue in this essay. That is, the actress and the role that made her most famous—Sex and the City's iconic Carrie Bradshaw—offer fans a particular kind of pleasure that comes from identifying with an actor and character who are presented as, if not explicitly Jewish, then Jewish to those in the know. We argue, however, that Parker's ascent to superstar status necessitated a shift in the way her physical body has been produced, a shift away from those physical traits that might be read as explicitly or stereotypically Jewish. In this way her career mirrors the deep ambivalence we feel about postmodern identity and its dual promises of privilege: the privilege of uniqueness and the myth that we can all somehow attain the universal.